Wednesday, August 3, 2011


National Park Service Maritime Festival Reminder

I wanted to offer a reminder that this weekend at the Salem Maritime Historic Site, the Park Service is offering their annual Maritime Festival. The event begins with a concert on the site on Friday evening and continues over the weekend with activities for the entire family. If you stay around Salem on Sunday afternoon, you can see the Friendship off on an ambassadorial sail to New York City. Included in the crew will be several Salem youngsters who are working on the site this summer as junior Rangers.

Northeast Harvest Newsletter Provided by Essex Heritage

Each month in conjunction with several other agricultural organizations, Essex Heritage produces a newsletter that provides some most valuable information about agricultural activities in the region. The material provided each month is critical as the ENHC mission calls for the preservation of the natural resources of this region and our support of the valuable farming resources in Essex County through vehicles like the newsletter plays a role in that process. The following material was excerpted from the August edition of the letter. At the end of the provided excerpt, we have provided a WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU ACCESS POINT and ask for specific information to be outlined in future editions or to subscribe to the Northeast Harvest newsletter in the future, click on that access point.

Corn - Corn - Everywhere!

Sweet corn is a warm-season crop and one of the major vegetables grown in New England. It is an extremely popular crop for farm stands and farmers' markets. The average ear of corn has 800 kernels arranged in 16 rows. There is one piece of silk for each kernel. To select corn, look for bright green, moist husks. The silk should be stiff, dark and moist. Between the time of purchase and cooking, keep the corn moist and cool. Refrigerate it immediately to help the corn stay sweet. You can add a teaspoon of sugar for each quart of water used to cook corn that has not been used immediately. Be sure to use corn within 2-3 days. ENJOY THE SEASON - IT CAN SEEM MUCH TOO SHORT!

August is Asian Long horned Beetle Awareness Month

The Asian longhorned beetle, discovered in Worcester, MA in August 2008, is an invasive pest of hardwood trees, including maple, birch and elm. The beetle is large in size with very long black and white antennae. The body is glossy black with irregular white spots. Adult beetles can be seen from late spring to fall. Most of the initial ALB infestations have been found by the public, not pest specialists. The spread of this pest would cause serious negative impacts to the maple sugaring, nursery, tourism and forest product industries, as well as to our state's forest, park and street trees. If you suspect any sighting, click here to contact Jennifer Forman at MDAR.

Massachusetts Tomato Contest

The 27th Annual Massachusetts Tomato Contest will be held at Boston's City Hall Plaza Farmers' Market on Monday, August 22nd from 9am to 12:30 pm. Tomatoes will be judged by a panel of experts on flavor, firmness/slicing quality, exterior color and shape. Farmers who want to submit entries can bring tomatoes to the Boston market between 9-10:15 am on August 22nd or drop their entries off with the registration form to a number of locations across the state on August 20th and 21st. This friendly contest is designed to increase consumer awareness of local agriculture. The contest is sponsored by the MDAR, New England Vegetable and Berry Growers Association and Mass Farmers Markets. For more information and registration form, click here.

Stir the Pot

The second annual Stir the Pot program aims to collect fresh fruits and vegetables for greater Newburyport families in need. Donations are welcome from all community members with gardens and shares in CSA's, or those who just see a great bargain at their local farm stand. All types of fresh fruits and vegetables may be dropped off from now until the fall at the YWCA Greater Newburyport Aquatic Center, 13 Market Street, on Monday through Thursday from 7 am to 7 pm. The YWCA will store the produce and oversee distribution to people and families in need. Fresh produce is an important tool in the fight against obesity and critical to leading healthier lives. The partnership between Stir the Pot and the YWCA ensures that local summer and fall harvests are shared among those who need them most. For more information, contact Jeff Bard or Ellis Davis.

Summer Tour - Boston!

The 2011 North American Strawberry Growers Association Summer Tour will be held out of the Boston area. Massachusetts has the highest sales of produce at the farm gate. The tour dates will be August 16th and the 17th. Our tour includes Marini's Farm in Ipswich, Cider Hill Farm in Amesbury, Parlee Farms in Tyngsboro, Verrill Farm in Concord, Wards Berry Farm in Sharon, Spring Rain Farm in East Taunton, Four Town Farm in Seekonk, and Foppenma's Farm in Northbridge. Each farm has unique features you'll want to explore. See the Summer Tour schedule for information and hotel reservations.

Corn & Tomato Festival

The Annual Corn & Tomato Festival will take place on Saturday, August 20th from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm at Verrill Farm in Concord. You can taste over 30 varieties of tomatoes and up to 8 varsities of corn. There will also be samples of dishes made in the farm stand kitchen. The cost is $8.50 for adults and $4.50 for children under 10. For more information visit Merrill Farm.

Nature Play Day
Free Discovery Days Event!

Come celebrate fun and creative outdoor play the old-fashioned way at Drumlin Farm in Lincoln on Saturday, August 6th from 10 am to 3 pm. Romp in the hay playground, test your skills on our natural obstacle course, and explore the Forest Discovery Trail. Naturalists will lead hands-on programs related to wildlife, farming, and the environment. And of course you're welcome to visit the farm animals, crop fields, and collection of native New England mammals and birds. Activities will occur rain or shine. To save time the day of the event please fill out this free admission ticket (only 1 ticket per household is needed) and bring it with you.

TV Diner Summer Farm
Food Fest at Smolak Farms!

NECN's "TV Diner," New England's #1 food and dining program, is bringing together some of greater Boston's best chefs and restaurants to the beautiful land of Smolak Farms in North Andover for the 1st annual TV Diner Summer Farm Food Fest. The date is Sunday, August 28th from 11:30 am to 5:00 pm. The festival will feature cooking demos and tastings, and activities will include live music, children's games, hayrides, contests and more. Tickets are $30 online for adults and $40 purchased at the door - children under 10 are free. For more information, click here.

We Want to Hear From YOU!

CONSUMERS - Tell us your interests.
FARMERS - Let us know what's happening at your farm. We will try to publish your events in our newsletters.
Please add as a reciprocal link on your farm website. THANK YOU!
Click here to contact us.

Thank you to Essex Heritage for allowing us to reprint the material provided.

North Shore Music Theatre/North Shore Elder Services Event Correction

In a recent posting to the Essex Happenings BLOG, I reported a date for a fundraising event at the Theatre that was erroneous. We provided a date for a presentation of the King and I, that if tickets are purchased at the NSMT box office using the promo code NSES, that would benefit the local charity. The correct date for that event is September 30, 2011.

Phoenix School in Salem Offers Late Summer Camp Program

One of the most progressive private K through 6 schools in the region operates in Salem. The Phoenix school was opened in 1981 and since that time the K-6 school, that is located very near the busy downtown in Salem, has been turning out graduates that continue to play a role in the future life of the City and the region. Back about a dozen or so years ago, I had the good fortune to spend a brief time on the Board of Directors of the school and in that brief exposure I learned of the vibrancy and the excellence of the school and the commitment to education offered by its administration. A decade ago, when the Salem Partnership took on the responsibility of raising the required public commitment of funds to insure the local match that had to be obtained to insure the promised federal funding to build the replica ship Friendship, the school and it administrators, students and parents came to the rescue and helped organize projects that made that task attainable. Now the school teams up each year with Essex Heritage to help insure the success of Trails and Sails the signature event of that organization. Each year the school assigns its students and their parents an assignment to monitor and report on an event. In that way, the students experience the history of this region first hand.

For your information, the following excerpt from the schools web site, that highlights some of the data and the information that went into the decision two decades ago to open the school.

“Don’t do it,” said a marketing team from Suffolk U. after evaluating the potential for opening a new school in Salem in 1981, but Barbara McFall and Betsye Sargent paid no attention and went ahead anyway. You may remember 1981 was a time much like today. Budget deficits, staff lay-offs, programs cuts were all having a serious impact on the Salem Public Schools. As employees of the Salem Public Schools, we were not willing to see the substance of the gifted and talented and magnet school programs decimated, so we left the system and founded The Phoenix Enrichment Center, now The Phoenix School. Truly rising from the ashes of an economic downturn, The Phoenix School continues to offer a vibrant, innovative educational opportunity in downtown Salem. Read the rest of the article…

I recently received an e-mail from the school that highlighted a summer program that they are offering to residents of this region who might be seeking a program to keep youngsters occupied before school reopens and at the same time offers on educational experience. The range of programs looked most interesting and since many of you are regularly seeking programs for your children while you are working and they are not in school, now at the end of this summer season, and regular achool is not yet in session, the programs offered include studies that includes programs for aspiring engineers and inventors, videographers, environmentalists, or even biologists I thought I would provide some brief information about their offerings.
There is too much information about the offerings to provide in this space, but if you need more information or wish to register call The Phoenix School in Salem soon at 978 741 0870

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